I’ve waxed lyrical about the genius that is Johnny Hunter – one of the most exciting acts in the world at the moment. Their glam theatrical approach is mesmerising and exciting and their songwriting recalls the best of post punk movement with sonorous vocals, icy, edgy guitars and anthemic choruses.
Jonny Hunter have just released a powerful hard hitting video for the track ‘Life’. Filmed in the Moth Club in Hackney, London and directed by SIMON & SillaTape, it deals with the horrors of dependence where an alcoholic bartender service versions of his older self. It is haunting and visceral, poignant and intelligent. The directors said:
There’s a real understanding between us and the band about how to bring their vision to life. We’ve blended frustration and freedom throughout the music video – pairing the despondency of a sorrowful boozer with the possibilities of the world and, by extension, LIFE itself.
The band says:
The concept for the ‘Life’ video was borne out of Nick’s (Hutty’s) lived experience and we wanted to recreate that. We discussed where and how we still might be able to breathe some life into this concept, all the while thinking of where the perfect setting might be – even if that meant it being across international waters. Very soon after, the suggestion of London was made and that was that.
We couldn’t think of a better location stylistically and atmospherically. The treatment and narrative idea we developed for the clip was nearly identical to the one Patrick and Simon put forward after we first approached them. What has resulted is a film clip that dives deep into the heart of what ‘Life’ is all about: a bleak world drenched in a hopeless atmosphere
‘Life’ is infused with the same vitality and theatricality we have come to expect from the band: an eighties synth wash, razor sharp bass lines and sky high melodies that are studied and posed. The thunderous tenor vocals from the enigmatic Nick Hutt add a blinding lustre to the whole. This is such an exciting band that continues to push boundaries while tipping a hat to the indie post punk genes that form the spine to their music.
The band is as enigmatic and philosophical as ever in their comments about the track:
To find life is to find happiness, it is the ultimate end and purpose of our existence.
The band says of the themes to ‘Life’:
Life is not found in the darkness of the night, nor is it found in selfish ideals. It lies in the balance of the new day and how we approach our imperfections to bring balance to ourselves. The answer to The Floor, an ultimatum proposed to the self, to change or die, to sink or swim. The sun is shining, it’s time for change, appreciate what you have, know who you are and lose yourself in Life.
Inspired by the moral dilemma I faced pulling beers for alcoholics to sustain a week to week pay cheque that was almost always whimsically spent on alcohol for myself. These people were dying right in front of my eyes (some did die) and I was joining them.
The video is a powerful depiction of this horror:
The beautifully evocative lyrics embellish the intimate sense of yearning and melancholia that threads its way through the track:
If I don’t find life
I’ll be sinking like
Swimming with the dead
I’ll be killing you softly
Feature Photograph: Sam Horton